January 06, 2007

Rules of Engagement

Ok - I'm borrowing from my friends post about her Compact. We're hoping to support each other, so I'm going to use her format to help me outline my rules.

My goals in doing my Compact will be to:

  • Eliminate unnecessary purchases with the goals of saving money, reducing clutter, and being satisfied with what I already have. (Thanks RW for the perfect wording)
  • Reduce (or eliminate) the amount of new goods I consume, thus reducing the amount of negative impact on the world in terms of the environment as well as not contributing to companies that use sweatshop labor to make millions (or billions). (Thanks again RW!)
  • Learn patience by waiting to see if I truly need an item by taking the time to look for a used item first.
  • To enrich my life with something other than buying things. I tend to shop out of emotional strife, boredom or frustration, so I hope to learn to deal with these things in a healthier fashion.
  • Begin to utilize "homemade" cleaning products, and substitute all cleaning/household products with earth-friendly products.

My guidelines for my Compact will be:

  • Don't buy stuff - Borrow, barter, trade, beg, etc. for things :o)
  • If there is something that needs to be purchased, I will first buy a used, local, sustainable, "green," or fair-trade item.
  • Eating out will be limited, and not a regular occurrence (which ought to help with the weight loss goals too!).


  • Food and health-related items.
  • Books and other necessary items for the DH's school
  • Items for a friends wedding that I'm going to be in (will minimize the damage as much as possible!)
  • Pictures - I'm going to *finally* put together our wedding album, and our Tahoe scrapbook and will need to order prints for those.
  • Items that are necessary for the house. **Now, I realize that this could be a VERY slippery slope to be on, but the point of this exception is that in the midst of this Compact we may find ourselves in a position to try and sell our house (again), which means repairs, etc. will need to be made. I will attempt to do this within the "confines" of the Compact, but there will most likely be purchases that need to be made. Additionally, organization, etc. has been a great point of stress for myself and my DH, so if something needs to be purchased to allow us to get more organized, the guidelines above will be followed, but if something has to be purchased it will be.

The guidelines and goals section of this are flexible - if there are more constraints or more reasons to do this, I will add them as appropriate. I do not want to add to any of the exceptions though. There is not a thing in this world that I am truly in want or in need of, and there is no reason to keep spending, spending, spending just for the fun of it.

I have been contemplating this for quite some time and feel fully capable of doing this. My every hope is that within this year, I will learn more about myself, more about this world, and more about the impact I have on it. I truly want to do this, not as a statement, but as a study. I want to use the "extra time" to do the things I've been saying I'm going to do and don't, to be with the people I need to spend time with, and to alter my ecological foot print.

I'm 6 days in, and so far so good.


Rachel said...

Yay! It sounds great. I'm going to update my blog right now. I *really* think I can do this, too. It really has been easy so far. I'm glad you are doing the Compact, too. If you need to beg, barter, borrow, or trade for something just let me know!! :-)

Lynne said...

Great work.